This month I am very pleased to introduce a lovely yarn store in Ontario, Canada, called Unwind Yarn House. It is in a suburb called Newmarket where one of my dearest friends, Amanda, lives now and where my great-Aunt Margaret used to live when she was first married after emigrating to North America from the UK. When visiting my friends and family in autumn 2012, I popped in to Unwind Yarn House with Amanda because I needed some new DPNs for the project I had taken away with me on holiday. I never pass up the chance to visit a new yarn store! I chatted for a while with the owner, Michele, who was really friendly, welcoming and helpful, and left with exactly the needles I had wanted. Perfect!
Unwind Yarn House
232 Main Street South
Please visit our website for a list of classes and events, and to shop on line.
Pinterest: Unwind Yarn House
Mon: Noon – 4:00pm (Closed MAY – AUG)
Tue: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Wed: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Thu: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fri: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sat: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sun: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
How did you first get interested in knitting / crochet / yarn crafts?
I started knitting when I was about 5 years old. My Mom was a Home Economics teacher, when such a thing existed, and was always knitting, crocheting or sewing something. It was inevitable that it would rub off on me. She showed me how to be creative and I love to knit because of her.
Do you have one favourite project that you’ve created?
I have plenty of favourite projects but my most recent favourite is the entrelac shawl that I knit with Noro Silk Garden. It was totally addictive and I can’t wait to make another one in different colours.
Tell us about how your first got involved with the business?
Unwind Yarn House was started by Wendy about 8 years ago. Back then, I taught a few classes for her in the evenings and filled in from time to time when she needed extra help. I loved hanging out at the store and hardly missed knitting night. After living for a few years in France, one of my first stops when I returned to Canada was to my LYS, and I couldn’t believe it when Wendy asked me if I wanted to buy the store. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d own a yarn shop, but here I am a year later, living my dream!
Give us an idea of the yarn range that you stock.
Unwind Yarn House stocks a wide range of yarns from around the world, but we like to highlight hand dyed yarns from indie dyers and Canadian produced and dyed yarns. Some names you may recognize are Debbie Bliss, Noro, Bergere de France, Madeline Tosh, Misti Alpaca, Louet, Regia, Cascade, Sublime, Berroco, Malabrigo, and Rowan. Other less familiar yarns that we carry are Biscote & Cie, Dyeversion, Americo, Tanis Fibre Arts, Hand Maiden, Fleece Artist, Sweet Paprika, HPKY, Spud & Chloe, Sweater Kits and of course our local favourite, Koigu. Our newest find is Big Loop Merino by Loopy Mango in New Your City. IT’S HUGE!!! and uses 25mm needles!!! Can’t wait for our first shipment to arrive in the next few weeks.
Do you stock patterns, magazines or books? And what about other knitting and crochet supplies?
We carry big name pattern books and magazines such as Vogue Knitting and Interweave, but the most popular patterns are those from Cocoknits. Their designs are current and we have a hard time keeping them in stock. We also stock a wide range of knitting and crocheting accessories from Soak, Lantern Moon, Addi Turbo, Knitter’s Pride and Clover.
Are there any courses or other events that crafters can attend at your store?
Unwind Yarn House has always given knitting classes at all levels. Our summer promotion of Learn to Knit or Learn to Crochet for only $5 was a hit, and I think we got more that a few people hooked. Our fall schedule still has the basics, but we also have wet felting, hand dyeing, toe up socks, cables, entrelac, crocheted baskets for beginners…the list goes on. We’re always looking for new projects to teach.
We also have Knit A-Longs. Our current KAL project is the Beekeepers Quilt, found on Ravelry. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of sock yarn.
This fall, we’ll be appearing at several shows:
Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Fair, Sat, September 14th, 2013, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Woodstock Fleece Festival, Sat, October 19th, 2013, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
Creative Festival, October 25th, 26th, & 27th, 2013, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Could you give us a little introduction to the rest of the team at your store?
We have a great mix of people here at Unwind. Sheila has been here since before my time and is not only a knitter, but our crochet expert. Dawn is “Mrs. high energy”, and is always available to help people when they drop a stitch or can’t understand a pattern. Deanna has the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and is truly interested in helping you find the perfect yarn for your project. Fiona floats in from time to time to teach and fill in when someone goes on vacation, and has been a fixture in the store since it opened.
What do you enjoy most about running a local yarn store?
The best part of owning a yarn shop is talking to people all day. I don’t know any other place where I could sit and chat all day and not get fired. I get to know a lot about my customers and I love it when people just want to stop in and say hi, not to just buy yarn.
What do you think makes your store special to a potential customer?
What sets us apart from other yarn shops is our service. We all love what we do, and we enjoy our customers.
And finally, describe your store in three words…
With such enthusiastic staff and so much going on in-store, I can’t recommend Unwind enough if you are in the Ontario area. Even if you are just visiting on holiday!